Mark Mihal, the 43-year-old mortgage broker who fell into a sinkhole on an Illinois golf course this week, said he was lucky just to survive the experience with a dislocated shoulder and described how he managed to get out of the sinkhole.
"I feel lucky just to come out of it with a shoulder injury, falling that far and not knowing what I was going to hit," Mihal told The Associated Press. "It was absolutely crazy."
Mihal said he was about to hit a 100-yard approach shot on a par-5 hole when he noticed "a bathtub-looking indentation about knee deep just behind him on the fairway" and "walked over to give it a closer look and took one step onto it."
"It didn't look unstable," he said. "And then I was gone. I was just freefalling. It felt like forever, but it was just a second or two, and I didn't know what I was going to hit. And all I saw was darkness."
Mihal had fallen 18 feet, and he yelled to his friends, who initially thought he was doing a magic trick, for help. One of his friends made his way into the hole, converted his sweater into a splint for Mihal and tied a rope around his friend, who was pulled to safety.